WORLD Boxing Organization (WBO) welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao is back from a three-city sojourn in Australia and immediately announced his eagerness to prepare for his title fight against Jeff Horn on July 2 at Brisbane’s 55,000-seat Suncorp Arena.
“Everything went well (in the Australian trip). Finally, Horn and I met for the first time and it’s now time to prepare for the fight, “ Pacquiao whose party, including wife Jinkee, arrived shortly before midnight on Friday, declared.
“Medyo magiging hard and rigid ang training ngayon. Malaki and kalaban at kung tutoo ang balitang natanggap natin from members of the Filipino community Down Under and the Australians themselves, Horn should not be taken for granted,” Pacquiao said.
“May kalakihan nga, pero bahagya lang at walang masyadong magiging advantage,” said the Pacman’s close-in security Choy Garcia, who, along with assistant trainer Roger “Haplas” Fernandez joined the Australain trip. “Pero kailangan ding paghandaang mabuti.”
Training will definitely start next week, the reigning 147-pound kingpin.
Since Senate sessions are set to resume on Tuesday (May 2), gym work may commence midweek, according to the eight-division world champion.
“I am still waiting for the report on the extent of damage brought about by the earthquake that hit GenSan (hometown General Santos City). Kararating lang kasi namin hatinggabi kagabi, kaya di pa ako nakatatanggap ng report, “ the 38-year-old lawmaker said.
“Kung malaki ang naging pinsala at kailangan kong pumunta doon baka ma-delay ang ensayo, lilipad tayo,” he said. “Kung minimal lang naman, siguro the weekend after preparation ako bibisita.”
Fernandez said his boss and members of the training team, including brother Buboy, Nono Neri and himself will meet on Sunday to lay down the training schedule.
“Monday pa ang dating ni Buboy from Bicol kaya noon pa lamang mapag-dedesisyunan ang araw kung kailan kami mag-start.” he said. “Meanwhile, resume na rin ang roadwork bukas (Sunday). One week kasing di nakatakbo si boss habang nasa Australia.”
Like Garcia, Haplas dimissed Horn’s perceived edge in height.
“Matangkad lang, pero hindi naman hefty gaya ng report. Para lang si Vargas,” he said referring to the Mexican-American Jessie Vargas, who Pacquiao took the title from last November.